Alex Txikon and his team arrive at Manaslu Base Camp
After almost a week of trekking, Alex Txikon and his team have finally reached Manaslu base camp (4,900 meters above sea level).
14 / 01 / 2021
It was not an easy trip, but good weather and team's enthusiasm helped to achieve the goal. Now the hard work begins. They will have to organize base camp to equip step by step the ascent route.
After arriving in Kathmandu on New Year's Day, the group had to stay in quarantine 4 days and had to do some Covid tests, as ordered by the Nepalese authorities. No one escapes the pandemic generated by COVID-19 and its consequences. Neither Nepal does. Once all the steps had been completed, and after having to change the initial plan (quarantine days changed what was planned in Bilbao), the group organized cargos and deposited them in helicopters to be sent to Samagaun (3,500m).
The material could be sent directly to base camp but Txikon decided that Samagaun porters would carry it from the town to the base camp. The pandemic has hit this region hard, whose main source of income is expeditions and tourists - since March 2020, except for local people, practically no one has crossed those areas - so Txikon decided to give his contribute giving the local porters some job.
“We are perfectly aware that our contribution is not going to solve the problem they had this year. The pandemic has hit this area hard. There were few Covid cases, since those areas are very isolated, but pandemic has totally affected their economy. Before arriving I knew what we were going to find: a town depending on tourism and expeditions, having neither tourists nor expeditions. Because of the respect we owe to all these people, for all these years that we have come to Himalayas, we believed that the most coherent and fair thing was to try to help them as much as possible”, explains Alex Txikon.
As cargos were deposited, the group began a 5 days trekking. Of course, before putting the backpack on their backs and starting to walk, Txikon and his group had to make a long trip by bus and 4x4 vehicles to Machhakholagaon. And, after spending the night in this town, they traveled a long but beautiful walk leading them to base camp. They crossed towns as Dohan, Bihim, Philim or Namrung, accumulating in their legs more than 3,500 meters of elevation gain but the trip worthed it.
“It has been a beautiful trek, with spectacular weather. In Kathmandu we saw the weather was going to be on our side so the quarantine became very long. We were craving to go and we needed to take advantage of the sun! The trekking has been great and we have seen beautiful places. But once again reality we faced was very hard for us. Lakpa, from ‘Lodge Thakli’, told me that since March we were the second group they saw here and that is devastating for a region that lives on people like us. Despite it, they never lose their smile and stay totally positive. They gave us a lot of power to carry on”.
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